Friday, October 2, 2009

fairly easy wheat bread for earthy food nerds

Remember the hippie food bible I bought a while ago? It's by Sally Fallon and is called Nourishing Traditions, of course. I love hippies, they're so earnest! It's full of kooky recipes for things like Carob Fudge and Raw Liver Drink, which sound horrid, right? I want to make sure I'm not getting too crunchy. There are a number of principles set forth in the book, one of them being that flour products should be soaked for at least 12 hours prior to use. This makes the grains easier to digest, as well as adding flavor (as in the no-knead bread that we eat all the time).

A couple of days ago I started making the Yeasted Buttermilk Bread. She says it's a good compromise bread more amenable to sandwich making than sourdough, for all of us disgusting people with the Western diet who love to make ourselves sick--my words, not hers. I may be oversensitive in my inference, but when there's a recipe on the previous page called "Cheater's Bread," and what makes it cheater's bread is the white flour contained therein, you have to giggle. I agree with her, of course, but I still like to poke fun.

So far I really like the buttermilk bread. It's moist, and has just a little zing not usually found in traditional wheat bread. I also like that the crust is a little thicker and sort of crispy. We're going to eat some BLTs on it tonight, and we'll see how it ages over the next couple of days if there is any left.

Yeasted Buttermilk Bread (from Nourishing Traditions--minor changes marked with asterisks)
4 cups freshly ground spelt, kamut or hard winter wheat flour
1-1 1/2 C warm buttermilk
1/2 C melted butter
1/4 C warm water
1 package dry yeast*
2 T honey
1 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1 C unbleached white flour

Combine freshly ground flour, 1 C buttermilk and butter in a food processor and process until a ball forms. If the dough is too stiff add more buttermilk, but it should be thick enough to form a ball. Place in a bowl, cover with a towel** and leave in a warm place for 12-24 hours.

Combine water, yeast and honey in a small bowl and leave for 5 minutes or until it bubbles. Add salt and baking soda and mix well. Place half the flour mixture, half the yeast mixture and 1/2 C white flour in a food processor. Process until a smooth ball forms. Repeat with the other half of dough, yeast and white flour.

Knead the two balls together briefly and place in a buttered bowl. Cover and let rise 2 hours, until doubled. Punch down, cut the dough in half and process each half in a food processor for 30 seconds each. Form into loaves and place in buttered loaf pans (preferably stoneware***). Cover with a towel and let rise 1-2 hours until doubled. Bake for 30 minutes at 350*.

*I used 1 T, since my yeast is in a quart jar in the freezer.
**I would recommend plastic wrap instead, because the towel allows it to dry out so much that an unappealing crusty shell forms on the dough--the food processor eliminates it, but it still looks gross.
***I don't have these kind of pans, because I'm an uncaring Philistine who wants my children to die.


highdeekay said...

Ok, I don't have a real food processor. I have a blender and I have a Kitchen Aid. What should I mix it in?

I'm intrigued and want to try this.

Layne said...

Hmm. Not sure. Probably the Kitchenaid? I think the blender would jam.

tipsybaker said...

If you wet the towel, it works great -- keeps everything humid. You can use the clean wet towel to wipe down your counters when you put the bread in the oven, happy in the knowledge you're saving the world by not using plastic.
Earnest, but true.

Layne said...


That is a really good idea. I want to go make some bread now and use it. It does make my conscience twinge--that and paper towels. I need to get over the habit of using them for so much.